Frequently Asked Questions
About retirement living
What are the benefits of living in a retirement village? Deciding to live in a retirement village is more than a real estate purchase. It’s a choice that’s about being part of a vibrant community, where people of similar ages and interests enjoy a fulfilling and diverse lifestyle. Residents experience independence and comfort, with lasting social connections all delivered around a range of facilities and services that have been designed with you and your needs in mind.
Our community has a dedicated management team to support your needs via a range of services. Retirement communities are increasingly popular with people as they move into retirement. Today, according to the Property Council of Australia, more than 175,000 Australians enjoy living in a retirement village like Strathalan.
Is a retirement village for me? The only requirement to live in a retirement village like Strathalan is that residents are over the age of 55. You don’t have to be retired; in fact, some residents continue to work part time, and in some cases, full time. While most retirement villages offer a range of activities and social events, you’re free to choose to participate as much or as little as you like. It’s important that you find a retirement village that’s the right fit for you.
Is there any government legislation to protect the rights of retirement village residents? Retirement villages in Victoria are sold and managed in accordance with the Retirement Villages Act 1986. This legislation provides security to all retirement village residents in Victoria ensuring their interests are fully protected. Key financial and facility information on retirement villages in Victoria is easily accessible and clearly detailed in a Factsheet that has been developed for operators by the Government to clearly outline the costs, processes, roles and obligations for all parties.
Where can I go for more helpful information on retirement villages?
Consumer Affairs Victoria
Seniors Online Victoria
Property Council of Australia – Retirement Living
Residents of Retirement Villages Victoria
About Baptcare’s Strathalan Macleod
Who is Baptcare? Baptcare is a faith-based, not-forprofit organisation that cares for people of all ages, cultures, beliefs and circumstances. Its vision is for communities where every person is cherished. Baptcare was founded by a group of pioneering Baptist women; they raised funds to open Australia’s first Baptist nursing home in 1945. Today, Baptcare continues these values with a vision of providing caring communities for all, offering a broad range of services and programs from over 40 locations across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, including over 1159 aged care beds and 1700 home care packages. This makes it one of the largest providers of accommodation, care and community services in Victoria. To learn more about Baptcare, please visit baptcare.org.au
What has changed at Strathalan? Many may not know that Strathalan, one of Melbourne’s most loved retirement communities, is steeped in a long history of involvement with Macleod. In fact, our roots with Macleod date back to 1945, when the Strathalan homestead was established to provide aging residents with the finest quality of health and life possible.
Over time, Strathalan has evolved into a broader retirement community, committed to finding ways to make life easier and healthier for all our residents. We know what a healthy retirement looks like – it shows on the faces of our residents, their friends, and their families.
We are now launching the next stage of this community, with 36 stunning retirement living apartments available for discerning retirees. Residents will enjoy a brand new community centre and facilities including a new café, library, gym, private dining, bar, lounge, day therapy, consulting rooms and plenty of space for a range of activities.
How will I be charged for electricity? Electricity is charged on a usage basis only and monitored through individual meters.
We are pleased to announce that Baptcare have established an Embedded Electricity Network (EEN) at Strathalan . This means that through a bulk energy purchase arrangement with our chosen Embedded Network Service Provider, Momentum Energy, residents will have exclusive access to customised and competitive energy rates developed specifically for the community.
How do I set up my account? Please contact Momentum Energy on 1300 313 821 (Mon-Fri: 8am–6pm) to ensure your account is correctly set up.
What is an Embedded Electricity Network? An Embedded Electricity Network (EEN) is created by consolidating the energy supply of all of the occupants and common power into a single point of connection. This bulk supply arrangement allows supply of electricity at more competitive rates.
What is the ‘deferred payment’ or ‘departure fee’? The deferred payment or departure fee is calculated based on the purchase price of your apartment and applied on a pro rata basis when you leave. At Baptcare we are committed to providing our residents with a choice of departure fees that suit their particular circumstances and view of the property sector.
Baptcare Select Model – this model provides for sharing any capital gain that may accrue while you are a resident at The Orchards. Specifically, it includes the following:
- Departure fee is calculated as 6% per annum capped at five years (30%)
- Apartment refurbishments costs are shared 50-50 between you and Baptcare
- Marketing and sales costs are calculated at 1.5% of the sale price of your apartment
- Capital gain is shared 50-50 between you and Baptcare
Baptcare Assured Model – this model provides peace of mind that your departure fee is easily determined as it is not subject to the cyclical movements of residential property market. Specifically, it includes the following:
- Departure fee is calculated as 5% per annum capped at five years (25%)
- There are no apartment refurbishments costs payable at the time of departure
- There are no marketing and sales costs payable at the time of departure
- Once the apartment is vacated, Baptcare will pay your capital sum after four months, whether the apartment is sold or not
It also nice to know that at The Orchards, the departure fee includes a contribution to the long-term maintenance fund; unlike many other retirement communities where this is an additional fee payable at the time of exit.
What personal security does Strathalan offer? Strathalan is not a gated community as we believe that it is important to strike the right balance between active and passive security. Passive security is provided by the community itself, the fact that you are part of a community where neighbours, family and friends come and go – so there is a sense of a ‘neighbourhood watch’ at all times. Active security is provided by secure underground parking with direct lift access to your apartment floor and the 24-hour emergency call system within your home and shared spaces. Key entry points to the apartment building are also monitored via CCTV.
Purchasing your new apartment at Strathalan
What is involved in purchasing my apartment? The process of buying a new home can at times seem overwhelming. At Strathalan our aim is to help you at every step along the way. Our fully trained sales consultants are experts in their field and will work with you to ensure that the process of moving into your new apartment is one that is simple and worry-free. The five steps to becoming part of the community at Strathalan are:
- Visit Strathalan. It is important to visit the community, not only to inspect the apartment display suite, but also to get a feel of the village community. Our friendly sales consultants are happy to discuss the available apartments and can assist you in selecting one that is best suited to your lifestyle in terms of size, aspect and price. The Retirement Villages Act Disclosure Regulations require all operators to provide a ‘Factsheet’ containing prescribed general information about the retirement village to a prospective resident or their representative at the time the operator provides promotional material to that person and make certain documents available for inspection by a prospective resident or their representative within seven days of a request being made.
- Reserve your apartment. An initial fully refundable $5,000 reservation fee is payable to secure your preferred apartment. At this stage you will need to select your preferred departure fee option – Baptcare Select or Baptcare Assured (see What is the ‘deferred payment’ or ‘departure fee’?). There is then a 21-day period to review the Disclosure Statement and the two contractual agreements you will be given under the Retirement Village Act 1986. The two documents are the Agreement to Lease, which confirms your intent to proceed at the time occupancy is available; and a Lease Agreement, which governs the terms of the lease and confirms your rights and entitlements. If you do not choose to proceed after this period, your reservation fee is fully refunded within 10 days. The 21-day cooling off period before contracts can be signed starts on the day you received these documents which is in accordance with the Retirement Villages Act, 1986.
- Seek advice on your decision. We encourage you to seek independent advice from your advisors (which may include your solicitor and/or accountant) before formalising the purchase of your apartment. It is important that you feel comfortable about the arrangements. It is a good idea to discuss your decision with friends and family, as well as your professional advisors.
- Execute the agreements. Sign and complete the Agreement to Lease and the Lease Agreement. You will also need to pay a $20,000 deposit, from which your $5,000 reservation fee is deducted. There is a three day cooling off period at this point and your deposit will be refunded in full and agreements terminated if you decide not to proceed during this time.
- Move in. We will keep you up-to-date on the progress of your apartment during construction so that you can select the right time to sell your current home. The agreement will be settled when your apartment is ready for you to move in. The balance of the agreed sale price is payable on settlement, after which you can begin life in your new home and enjoy the lifestyle Strathalan has to offer.
Living at Strathalan
What shared spaces are available to enjoy? The residents at Strathalan community will enjoy a new community centre which is to be located on the ground and lower ground levels of the apartment building. The community centre boasts a:
- BBQ area
- Art room
- Allied Health
- Private dining
- Residents’ bar
- Residents’ dining
- Residents’ lounge
- Day therapy
- Consulting rooms
- Opportunity shop
What activities are run for the residents? Whether it’s the regular get-togethers at the community centre or exercise classes in our gym, there is something for everyone at Strathalan. From organised activities such as movie nights, concerts and regular guest speakers, to the informal get-togethers in the community spaces, you can choose to be as busy or free as you like. Our resident’s committee provide valuable input into all our organised activities.
For those residents who want to enjoy the area that surrounds Strathalan, the community bus makes regular outings to shopping areas, restaurants or other destinations suggested by residents.
What else is there to do around Strathalan? Nestled in the Northern fringe, Macleod has a proud history of blending the comforts of country living and some of the finest shops, parks, and overall lifestyle in Victoria. Whether it’s teeing off at pristine local golf clubs or cooling off with a glass of red at a famous Aberdeen Road café, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Will Foxtel and internet services be available? Yes, all apartments are pre-wired and ready for Pay TV with broadband internet connections in the bedrooms and living rooms. Simply arrange for a new package or have your current package and contract transferred. The apartments have also been fitted for connection to a fibre linked network to ensure super fast broadband services. Additionally, the community centre offers ultra-fast wireless broadband internet, so you can stay connected whist enjoying the shared spaces.
When is the village cafe open? The café is open to residents and guests Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Dinner will be served on select evenings.
Can I have visitors, such as my grandchildren come and stay? Your apartment is your home and it is your choice who you invite to stay. You are welcome to bring your visitors to enjoy the all of the facilities. For longer term stays however, Strathalan does have restrictions to preserve the integrity of village life. Residents are encouraged to discuss their options with the Village Manager.
Support and care options at Strathalan
Is there an emergency call system? Yes. A trusted specialist service provider will be available to respond to calls from the emergency call system located in the apartments and throughout the community centre to ensure a positive outcome is achieved.
Can I get support and care if I need it? A range of services, such as assistance with showering and dressing, personal care, medication supervision,apartment cleaning and food preparation are available for a modest fee. If you would like any of these services, specialist Baptcare staff members are available to discuss your needs.
If in the future I need nursing care, can I be assured of a room in the onsite residential aged care? Strathalan offers the care and support you need often without you having to move from your apartment and community through home care packages. However, should you need higher levels of care we are able to assist in your transition from your apartment to our co-located aged care facility, on the provision there are suitable suites available at that time.
Management at Strathalan
How is the village managed? Strathalan is managed in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Retirement Villages Act 1986. The Act prescribes the conditions of purchase and protects the rights of residents. Your on-site Community Manager is available weekdays at select times and is responsible for overall operations and day-to-day business matters. Specialist service providers and staff provide cleaning, maintenance, day-to-day operation of the gym, private dining, lounges, restaurant, hair salon and medical and allied health services.
What happens if I have issues with management? Strathalan has a complaints management policy, but most importantly, we have a complaint resolution process, which is intended to resolve any issues fairly. Residents are also fully protected by the complaints handling provisions of the Retirement Villages Act 1986. Residents are encouraged to communicate matters of concern with the Community Manager.
Who insures the village? Your apartment is fully protected under a comprehensive master insurance policy. This cost is included in the general service fee. Residents are encouraged to insure their personal contents under individual policies.
Fees and costs at Strathalan
Do I have to pay stamp duty when I purchase my new apartment? No. You will occupy your new home under a loan-license tenure, which means that there is no stamp duty on your new home. This represents a considerable saving when you purchase at The Orchards when compared to making a conventional residential purchase.
What are the ongoing service fees and what do they include? There is a monthly service fee at Baptcare’s Strathalan that provides and maintains the wide range of facilities and services for residents to enjoy. The service fee is calculated based on the size of your home, please refer to our Factsheet. Talk to your sales consultant for more information. The service fee covers the following services:
- Repairs and maintenance of exterior of units
- External washing of apartment windows annually
- Cleaning of gutters, pits and on-site drains
- Maintenance of the village infrastructure
- Changing of resident’s light globes when needed
- Service & maintenance of hot water units annually
- Cleaning of air-conditioner filters and vents twice yearly
- Fire safety equipment, training and services
- Payment of all rates, fire levy, taxes and changes including gas, water, electricity and internet for the communal areas and village facilities
- Cleaning and maintenance of communal areas and facilities
- Maintenance and care of communal lawns gardens
- Operation of buggy on site and bus service to local shops
- Monitoring and maintaining the emergency call system
- Collection of general and recycled rubbish
- Arranging insurance for the village, including public liability and for property loss/damage up to full replacement value of the village.
How are the service fees determined? Management determines the monthly service fee in consultation with the residents and in accordance with the Retirement Village Act 1986. Management is required by the Act to provide an audited statement of the current prescribed year’s expenses and a detailed budget of the forthcoming financial year, which is submitted at the AGM and to the residents for approval.